The word Psilomelane is derived from the Greek ψιλός (psilos) meaning "smooth" or "bald" & μέλας (melas) for "black". Originally the term was used in reference to a broad group of black manganese oxide minerals such as Hollandite & Romanechite. In modern day mineralogy the term has evolved to now refer to one specific hydrous manganese oxide mineral, the significant varying factors being Psilomelane’s comparative superior hardness. This mineral is amorphous in nature & occurs as botryoidal & stalactitic masses.

Due to its form & colour it has acquired a few misnomers, its common mistaken names are Black Hematite or Black Malachite. However, Hematite is an Iron Oxide & although Psilomelane can often contain Iron impurities & occur adjacent to Hematite it is classified a Manganese oxide. Malachite is a completely different carbonate mineral.

High levels of Manganese are contained within Psilomelane crystals they also contain varying amounts of Barium & Potassium. Due to this high Manganese content Psilomelane is a very useful mineral commonly utilised as a manganese ore. Industrially this is significant as the extracted manganese has many modern uses particularly in metal alloy construction. As an important steel alloy it is used where toughness & wear resistance is required for applications such as jaw-crusher plates, railway points & prison bars. As an aluminium alloy it greatly increases corrosion resistance. Its applications in the chemical industry are vast; it is used in quantitative analysis, medicine & for agricultural purposes such as disease & soil treatment. You will also find it in alkaline batteries & glass.

Psilomelane creates a spectacular gemstone, when cut en cabochon it displays beautiful metallic black & silver swirls. The silver banded highlights present are another Manganese mineral Pyrolusite. The two often occur together under the same geological conditions in oxidizing zones of hydrothermal deposits & potentially as secondary alteration minerals.

Metaphysical Properties

Stone of the alchemy & magic. Psilomelane holds cyclic elemental wisdom of death & rebirth, release & renewal. Connects to the void where pure source energy resides, where creative elements & energy blends to evolve & birth new creations. It incubates ideas & focuses energy to properly evolve & grow a concept or creation. Psilomelane helps manifestation of all varieties from artistic to scientific & most potently of the magical variety. When manifesting the new life of a child it helps to create a fertile womb, aids pregnancy & the birthing process.

It connects one with the inner self & facilitates spiritual enlightenment through universal reflection. Meditate with Psilomelane for an experience of introspective awakening. Teaches patience with all aspects of existence including self ambitions & goals. Illuminates ones shadows & highlights inner issues that need to be addressed, released & healed. Particularly good at removing critical self-judgment, fear, shame & self-doubt. Psilomelane teaches us to embrace the darkness as without it nothing good will grow. To face the shadow self is strong shaman medicine when achieved the spirit flourishes & wonderful new life is created.

This stone is a patient teacher & does not rush one into growth it simply facilitates the space for one to be ready for growth & change. When rapid change is thrust upon us it aids the transition helping stabilise energies & create an easy flow into the new stage of life. It also stops dying or dead energies from lingering & assists in the letting go process.

An excellent stone to work with through initiation processes, ritual magics & trans seasonal magic. Psilomelane connects to source intelligence the universal information library & brings required information through via ones intuitive spirit body or sixth sense. A powerful ally for spell creators as it helps channel the frequency of creation into the written word & solidifies the spoken word. Also good for business ventures that require collaboration with external parties as it promotes unity & working together in cohesive relationships.

Resonates with the ancient Egyptian creation Goddess Isis & underworld God Anubis. Helps open communication with alternate energies such as deities, elementals & non terrestrials.

Crystal Healing

Aids healing of tissue damage, bruising & bone injury. Helps skin disorders, fatigue, physical stress or RSI.


Group: Oxide Minerals

Crystal System: Monoclinic

Composition: Ba(Mn2+)(Mn4+)8O16(OH)4 or as (Ba,H2O)2Mn5O10

Form/Habit: Botryoidal, Mammillary, Reniform

Hardness: 5-5.5

Cleavage: None

Fracture: Conchoidal, uneven

Lustre: Sub-Metallic, Dull

Streak: Brown

Specific Gravity: 4.7-4.74

Transparency: Opaque

Colour: black with grey pyrolusite bands

Strunz Classification: 4/X.0-0

Solubility: In hydrochloric acid